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About Peggy Wood

b. Margaret Wood, 9 February 1892, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA, d. 18 March 1978, Stamford, Connecticut, USA. After studying singing with operatic soprano Emma Calvé, Wood began singing in the chorus of musical comedies, before gradually building up to small roles. Her Broadway debut was in Victor Herberts Naughty Marietta (1910), then appeared in several other shows before making her breakthrough as Ottilie in Maytime (1917), in which the duet she sang with Charles Purcell, Sigmund Rombergs Will You Remember? became a huge hit (and is often known by it first line: Sweetheart, sweetheart, sweetheart!). Woods sparkling stage presence brought her a steady flow of good parts in plays and musical comedies not only on Broadway but also in Londons West End. Best known of all her London roles was when she played Sarah Millick in Noël Cowards Bitter Sweet (1929). Her big songs were Zigeuner and The Bitter Sweet Waltz (another song known often by its first line: Ill See You Again). On Broadway again, she was in the original American cast of Cowards Blithe Spirit.

Later, now concentrating on non-musical roles, Wood played the mother in the very popular American television drama series Mama aka I Remember Mama (1949-57). Wood had made films from 1919 onwards, including Wonder Of Women (1929), The Right To Live (1935), Jalna (1935, from Mazo De La Roches bestselling novel), A Star Is Born (1937), The Housekeepers Daughter (1939), Magnificent Doll (1946, which starred Ginger Rogers as First Lady Dolly Madison), Dream Girl (1948, starring Betty Hutton), and The Story Of Ruth (1960). Only in the last of these was Woods role anything other than minor, but she made up for this relative anonymity with her last screen role. Although only on screen for a short time, her performance as Mother Superior in the film version of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein IIs The Sound Of Music (1965) brought her an Oscar nomination, even though her singing on the films soundtrack of Climb Evry Mountain was dubbed by Margery McKay.

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